What to Wear for Skiing

What to Wear for Skiing

Published: Nov 12, 2020

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One of the biggest ways that you can make your skiing experience better is knowing how to dress for a day on the slopes. For beginners, it is important that you are properly prepared so that you can focus on fun and learning instead of focusing on how uncomfortable and cold you are. Conditions on the mountain can range from high winds and freezing temperatures, to sun and slush.

When you are dressing for skiing, it is best to start with a good base layer and depending on the condition, add the appropriate mid-layer and shell. A good layering system will make you comfortable no matter the conditions, as each layer has its own important function. The key is to be able to create a flexible and adapting layering system so that you can tweak or swap them out to keep you comfortable and dry.

If you are not sure where to start, read along so that we can give you a hand with some of the basics about what to wear when skiing.

THERMALS

Base Layers

Quality base layers will provide added insulation and will regulate body temperature as they wick away sweat while you are skiing. They come in a variety of materials and weigh from lightweight to heavyweight. In choosing base layers, avoid cotton materials because they tend to hold onto moisture and do not dry quickly. It is best to choose wool for base layers because they are soft, manage moisture well, have a long lifespan and stay relatively odor-free. Some base layers are also made of synthetic materials and tend to be lighter and cheaper than wool. A tight fitting but not constricting, thin and lightweight option is best for all weathers because they tend to be quick drying and will leave you fresh and warm all day.

Mid Layers

The function of a mid layer is to keep you warm, it is your insulating layer. It is possible that mid layers are not waterproof or have moisture-wicking abilities, as long as they insulate you and keep you warm. This is also the most versatile piece of layer because it allows you to switch to a thinner or warmer mid layer or take it off altogether when the day gets warmer. For freezing temperatures, mid layers are important.

Mid layers usually come in fleece and tend to be made using man-made synthetic fibers that are highly breathable or merino wool that is more sustainable. They come in different weights but a lightweight fleece is best for high-impact activities. For beginners, it's best to have a heavier mid layer to keep you warm.

Ski Socks

For the best padding and support, it is best to invest in knee-high merino wool ski socks that have the ability to wick away moisture and keep your toes warm. Pack two to three pairs for your ski trip but do not wear more than a pair at a time because this will restrict blood flow.

OUTERWEAR

Ski Jacket

A shell jacket on top of your base and mid layer will complete your layering system and will protect you from wind and water. Choose a ski jacket that has excellent waterproofing and breathability. It may be the most expensive layer due to the technology and materials that were used to make them waterproof and breathable, thus protecting you from the elements.

A ski jacket has the ability to protect you from moisture due to snow or rain and it will also protect you from the cold wind. It has the ability to wick moisture when you sweat to keep you nice and dry.

Ski Pants

Your ski pants should be breathable and waterproof, with an elastic cuff at the bottom of each leg so that it can seal around your boot and protect you from snow and cold wind. It should also have vents for the regulation of temperature. You can also opt for snow bib overalls, as they stay up more easily and will also protect your back from the cold.

Ski Gloves

It is also important that you protect your hands from the cold, that is why ski gloves or mittens are essential. Mittens offer the most warmth but lack dexterity as it will not allow you to hold or grab things properly, while gloves offer more maneuverability but may be a little less warm when compared to mittens.

ACCESSORIES

Neck Warmer

With a neck warmer, you can protect your face and neck from the harsh cold wind that can cause an icy windburn. Neck warmers that are made with polyester microfiber and have breathability, moisture-wicking ability and are wind-resistant are a good choice. Aside from wearing it around your neck, you can also wear it as a balaclava or a bandana.

Helmet and Ski Goggles

A helmet is needed to protect your head from any potential fall or impacts that can cause injuries. A light, durable and comfortable helmet that has vents and adjustability systems will be a good choice. On the other hand, ski goggles will protect your eyes from sun and snow. A lot of ski goggles have UV protection with lenses that offer different ranges of vision, brightness and visibility. You can also bring a pair of sunglasses for lounging or dining on the mountain.

Winter/Snow Boots

It is important to bring a pair of winter boots/snow boots so that you can wear them at the end of the day, instead of staying in your ski boots that may be uncomfortable. A cozy pair of snow boots will keep you warm and comfy, and must have the ability to grip into ice and wet pavement to prevent slipping or sliding.

Après

Jeans, jumpers, scarves and hats will suffice for when you head out to the resort's bars and restaurants. Take note that you won't need formal wear and tight dresses.

Swimming Wear

After a good long day on the slopes, you may want to have a good relaxing time at the pool or spa; that is if the resort has these facilities.

Indoor Clothing

Pack some loungewear and slippers to keep you cozy and snug while staying at a chalet or apartment.

Final Thoughts

To keep you warm, protected and comfortable while you are on the mountain, make sure that you've got everything on our list. If you are a first timer, you can always borrow some things from your friends and then invest in some good quality gear whenever you are ready. Make sure that all of your skiing gear and equipment are durable enough to last for a long time and have the right features that you need, so that you will be able to enjoy and maximize your time on the slopes.

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